Insight Brewing describes Splendid Moose (6.5% alcohol by volume) as a New England Pale Ale which is a pale ale take on the New England IPA - a hazy, flavorful, less bitter take on an IPA. The style is unfiltered, adds gobs of late hops and dry hops, uses a more characterful English yeast than the typical American pale ale yeast, tends to use water richer in chlorides than sulfates, and often uses higher protein grains such as oats to build body. The result is a hazy, murky beer with big juicy hop and yeast flavors. Insight Brewing Splendid Moose (Chapter LXIII) fits this definition to a "T". One sniff is like walking through a pine forest on a warm day with a mug of orange juice in one hand and a lightly toasted bagel in the other. Pine and orange dominate with the bready malt aromas in the background with a slight woody, earthiness coming forward as the beer warms. It pours hazy amber gold with enough orange tint to look like a glass of orange juice. The vigorous 1.5" white foam cap with good retention establishes the beverage as a beer. The flavors start citrusy, orange zest and rind with resiny pine and biscuity malt backbone for support. The hop fruit flavors are big but there is enough hop bitterness hanging around to dry things out and contribute a shot of astringency. The beer has a juicy and creamy mouth feel with a medium to medium full body and medium, soft carbonation. American Pale Ales are easy to avoid. During the dawn of the craft beer movement they devolved into the brewery's intro beer designed to ween drinkers off of industrial lager. Splendid Moose is different. This is a big beer with bold, rich flavors. I rate it 85.
Go to American Pale Ale for a brief review of the style, food pairing suggestions, recommended glassware and links to reviews of similar beers.